Australian surfing legend Steph Gilmore accepts eighth world title in special ceremony in front of Pipeline Pro
Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore was recognized for her record-breaking eighth world title at the WSL Awards in Oahu, Hawaii ahead of the Billabong Pro Pipeline event.
With 33 wins in Championship Tour events and eight world titles, surpassing the previous record of seven by her compatriot Layne Beachley, Gilmore has cemented her status as one of the greatest surfers of all time.
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After the event, Steph said the excitement of winning a world title doesn’t wane with every trophy she adds to her name.
“I’ve given a few speeches in my time and I always feel like I’ll get better at them, but they’re always just as nerve-wracking as the last one,” Gilmore said.
“To win again and be able to celebrate the start of the season here in Hawaii is always something very special.
“It’s such a crazy year, thinking about everything that’s happened and then coming back and celebrating the start of the season is always cool because you can think about everything and try to let everything go before you start the event again.
“I’m excited, I feel like the pressure is off, now I can just enjoy everything I do on tour and everything else from now on is a bonus.”
Gilmore had to miss last year’s inaugural event due to Covid and after four top-five finishes in the next five events, she clinched her 33rd Championship Tour event win in El Salvador.
She was in fifth place going into the WSL Finals in Lower Trestles but managed to win three games before defeating reigning world champion Carissa Moore in back-to-back heats to claim her eighth world title.
The 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour season kicks off this weekend with the Billabong Pro Pipeline in Banzai – home of the world’s deadliest wave – the first of 10 events that will decide the world title.
The season runs through September in seven countries, culminating in the finals where the top five compete for the ultimate prize.
This is the second year of a new format that features a combined men’s and women’s schedule, and is also the fifth year of equal prize money.
Another addition to the adjusted format is a “midseason cut” that occurs after the fifth event, reducing the male field from 36 to 24 and the female field from 24 to 12.
This year’s Championship Tour has an added motivator as it will serve as the main qualifying route to the Paris 2024 Olympics to determine 18 of the 48 places (10 men and eight women).
https://7news.com.au/sport/surfing/aussie-surfing-legend-steph-gilmore-accepts-eighth-world-title-in-special-ceremony-ahead-of-pipeline-pro-c-9583867 Australian surfing legend Steph Gilmore accepts eighth world title in special ceremony in front of Pipeline Pro